Tis the season for everyone, everywhere to be brushing off the cold weather and busting out a suitcase, am I right? January-March people are lusting for warmer temps and tropical climates that just in the past two weeks alone I’ve gotten 2 different e-mails saying…I’m coming to Hawaii! Any must-have items?! And another person said “I’m going to Tahiti! What should I bring?!” For starters, you can bring me. So, I figured it was high time I shared some of my tropical vacation must-have items. I pack these whether I’m heading to Maui or the South Pacific, Mexico or South America…my must-haves remain the same! If you’re packing for a trip, dreaming of a vacation or simply just curious…today’s post is for you!
Tropical Vacation Must-Haves
First things first – it might shock some of you to know that when I pack for a beach trip or warm weather vacation, I don’t take very much! Dane and I are beach bums, so we spend a lot of time in the water or on the sand, which means outside of swimwear/cover-ups, I don’t need a ton. I used to overpack and it would annoy me that I had all these clothes packed that seemed so silly. Now I know better (and know myself better) when it comes to what I’ll actually use/need.
For My Suitcase: Is it me or actually packing your suitcase is the hardest part? Just the thought of deciding on outfits, ransacking my closet and putting it all together makes me a little bit sweaty. Dane will tell you that given the opportunity, I will wait until the very last minute and then throw myself into a whirlwind panic trying to decide on what to bring. It’s so silly. One thing (or I guess I should say several things) that makes my life slightly less stressful in this department are packing cubes (less than $20!). Paired with my organizational suitcase (you can read more about it here), my bag comes together in a flash. I’m not sure if it’s the concept of breaking things down into digestible categories (underwear, outerwear, swim, etc), but I am loving them. Dare I say it inspires me to get the job done quicker? Maybe that’s too far of a leap…LOL!
For The Beach/Pool: This is the heavy hitter in my suitcase, because typically this is where I’m spending the most time. I will tell you – I pack multiple swimsuits, which might go against nearly everything anyone has ever told you about swimwear. Here’s why: sunburn. Have you ever gotten an accidental sunburn and then anytime straps/tags/etc touched that specific area it sent your skin ablaze? Yeah, me too. And it’s not fun. Further, there are many, many days where we go from the ocean to the pool and for the sake of the pool maintenance people, I’m not putting my salty suit in your dipping pool for a swim. Further, activity suits vs. lay-and-read suits. You see where this is going. My rule of thumb is a bikini a day keeps the nudity away…just kidding! For a weeklong trip, I typically pack 4-5 suits and 1-2 coverups. Often, my coverups double as casual beach dresses, tunics or shorts that be re-worn for fun adventures.
For Daytime: Basic is best and I will say it until I’m blue in the face. Picking pieces that are simple and can be interchanged is key, because it minimizes what you need to pack. I usually take 2 pairs of shorts and 5-7 tanks/tops that can all be worn with both pairs of bottoms. I take that many shirts, because I am a very sweaty human and often don’t have time to do laundry while traveling. If I do have time to do laundry (or am traveling for more than 7 days), these travel sink packets are LIFE CHANGING. I also wear comfy bralettes and leave the fancy bras at home. #islandtime I should also note, I do pack clothes for workouts with appropriate socks + sports bras!
For My Feet: I am a recovering shoe over packer. I used to pack shoes I loved, but could realistically only be worn with 1-2 outfits. Such a waste of space! Now, I play by the rule of three – one pair of flip flops I can wear both on the beach and around town, one pair of shoes I can wear around town and to dinner and a pair of sneakers. I have spent way too much time trying to cram in necessities, because I have unnecessary footwear on board. Unless you plan to wear a pair 3 or more times – leave it at home.
Extras: This is where the bag starts to get heavy, because I’m sometimes like – maybe I will need XYZ. Newsflash: I’m usually wrong. That said, a few of my musts for any trip include: my Hydroflask (so good for keeping water cold in a hot climate), a good pair of Polarized sunglasses, moisturizer that works overtime after sun exposure, good sunscreen (read up on which sunscreen is reef safe here), 1-2 fun accessories, a good book and that’s it! Seriously – enough with the extras! You’ll thank me when you have more room for fun souvenirs from markets + local artisans.
And there you have it! Now let’s talk – what is your packing style? Do you over pack or forget things? What is your next vacation destination?
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